Nixon reverses course on food stamp cuts
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Nixon reverses course on food stamp cuts

Date: October 24, 2013
By: Steven Anthony
State Capitol Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon announced Thursday his administration is withdrawing support for their proposal to change the state's existing waiver under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Two weeks ago, his administration proposed changes to the food stamp program that would've removed nearly 60,000 able-bodied Missourians off the food stamp rolls.

That plan was not well-received by Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis City. She called the original proposal "nothing less than callous." Today, she said she was "extremely happy" about the decision.

"He did the right thing and now I know he truly has a heart," she said.

Nasheed then proposed a solution to solve the food stamp problem.

"If we truly have a problem with feeding the homeless by way of the government, then we need to create jobs for those individuals so that they can feed themselves," she said.

Rep. Sue Allen, R-St. Louis County, chairwoman of the Committee on Improving Government Responsiveness and Efficiency, said Nixon needed to make up his mind.  

"And so now if he's saying no, he's going to reverse that decision, then he's given it all away again without expecting people to perform at their very best," Allen said.

Despite being nearly three years removed from the recent recession, Scott Baker, the state director of the Missouri Food Bank Association, said people still need help from food banks.

"There are more and more people going to food pantries in the state of Missouri, so that doesn't speak to any kind of improvement in the economy as far as I can tell," he said.

Jeanette Oxford, the director of the Missouri Association for Social Welfare, said even though the recent budget crisis in Washington D.C. has been averted, there are still troubling times ahead for food stamps.

"The Senate has passed a budget that does have some food stamp cuts in it, and the House of Representatives has passed a budget that has bigger food stamp cuts in it," she said.


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